As a trip organizer, negotiation is the hardest part of my duty. I think it’s harder than the old route to Mt. Pinatubo wherein you have to trek for more than 2 hours passing bigger boulders and streams. “Wala bang discount?“ or “student lang kami“ or “we’re on tight budget we dont need those packages“ These are the usual lines I often hear on the phone during the conversation or during private chat.
Tonight was one of those days. I lost 5 guests because of unresolved discussion. Naguluhan ata sa akin yung kausap ko kaya nag cancel na lang. This is one of my dilemma… So to resolve the matter, I created this post so reader and trekkers may understand and get an answer to their frequently asked questions.
Our package is 2500php per head for a minimum of 4pax per trip. Per trip means 1 4×4 jeep. So this is 10k for a group of 4 persons. “Why 4? Other blogs said 4×4 loads 5persons”. Yes, if we do that, that will be 12500php per trip. Pabor samin yung 12,500. But in this field, Hindi lang kita ang isyu. The services as well. Importante sakin ang referrals. I have many guests in line because of our services. Aanhin ko yung one time na malaking kita if afterwards and daming negative comments?
So Balikan natin bakit 4 lang? If you would read our inclusions, makikita mo sa package namin ay 1 local tour guide & 1 tour guide from our team. That’s the answer, the tour guide from my team will occupy the remaining seat so 4 guests + a tour guide from my team, that’s 5 persons and yes me bayad din sya, we also pay for the entrance fee of our team member. The next question is “bakit me tour guide pa from your team? eh me local tour guide naman”. Yes this is true, but most of the local guides are native Aetas. They don’t speak tagalog or english and will just lead your way. Although, there are also some class A tour guides who are local residents in the area and trained by the local tourism office. These guides can speak tagalog and basic english. Pero very few lang ang class A guides. Mas majority ang Aetas kasi this is their form of livelihood. Kami pa nga ang na hire ng Municipal Tourism office para gumawa ng mga tour guide ID nung 2007 pati na rin yung certificate of conquest. Bago ko kasi pinasok ang field na to, we are running a printing biz.
Importante sa team namin yung ma entertain yung guests, mapakain ng tama, masagot ang mga tanong and most of all ay ma enjoy ang trek kahit pa dumaan sila sa mahirap at maalikabok na terrain so we added some features sa services namin. There is no facility sa crater aside from portable toilet. Most comments na naririnig ko sa tourist ay “Hey Juliet, why dont you suggest to your local tourism to construct cottages here so we dont have to cram under the trees and boulders? I ‘m tired, I need to at least laydown and take a nap”
Kung tutuusin tama yung sabi ng tourist but I will just say that, this is a volcano, people visit here to have a bonding with nature. Tourism wants it to remain as is. This would look commercialized like a beach if they would construct cottages and the essence of nature will be defaced.
From that suggestion, we decided to add tents to our service. Dito na din naiiwan yung mga belongings ng tourist at mas safe naman talaga. Di na rin pipila sa toilet para magpalit ng damit incase naligo ang guests sa crater.
Speaking of naligo, swimming is one activity that you can do at the crater aside from taking pictures, video and crater boating. But swimming at the crater requires you to be an expert to be able to explore the 300 feet deep Mt. Pinatubo crater lake.
Just a meter away from the crater side is a sharp deep ice cold water 😉 Bihira lang din ang naliligo. Nakakatakot naman talaga kasi nga ang lalim! kahit pa nga marunong kang lumangoy, nakakapagod pa din noh, eh pano if atakehin ka pa ng cramps? lagot! wala pa namang life guard.
Another reason why we have a guide from our team. Sya na din kasi ang mag se-serve na life guard 🙂 We also provide first aid kit for minor wounds & injuries. meron din basic meds like paracetamol for headaches or stomach troubles. So syempre mahirap pa din makipagsapalaran sa 300 feet deep so we agreed to provide arm floaters as well. And since we provided that stuff, I noticed na halos lahat ng guests namin ay naliligo na sa crater unlike dati na picture-picture lang. Hindi na nga lang simpleng dip eh, as in nagbababad na kasi yung iba halos 1pm na sila umaahon few minutes before pack up time at yung iba naman, tumatawid pa sa kabilang wall! And they told me that they really enjoyed it. Swimming without effort. Hihiga ka na nga lang, dika lulubog. Salamat naimbento ang arm floaters, kahit di ka marunong lumangoy ay makaka explore ka sa water.
And lastly, the Food. This is one of the reason why we have a guide from my team. To serve the food hot.
As in iniinit yung food, we also have portable stove. And we dont use disposables kasi makalat yun. We bring pans, plates, cups, spoons & fork. Mas masarap pa rin kasing kumain sa plato. The first time na kumain ako sa disposable na styro na take out namin sa fast food, nilipad yung food ko. Masyado kasing windy sa may crater. nabali din yung spoon ko. Nakakainis yun, diko na enjoy yung meal ko. So from those experiences, we tried to improve our service.
I also ask for personal feedback. I can conclude that the best feedback from a person are their referrals at nakakatuwa whenever I heard that our new client is being referred by a previous guest and they would tell me, “at last nadito na kami, ganitong-ganito yung nasa picture!” ang sarap pakinggan.
As we provide these added features, it means mahirap na bitbitan ng gamit as in we have to pay additional cost for the baggage carriers
. We may lose some amount of profit but it’s worth it. If we dont have a guide from our team, pano na lang yung mga albums per team sa picasa? sino ang kukuha nun? Yea, that’s one added feature. We cover your tour, we take pics and compile it per team per date at picasa so you can also grab or download it afterwards lalo na yung iba ay walang dalang cam. Just click here
to view the recent Pinatubo trek activities & pictures and finally syempre me shower. Pwede kau maligo bago umuwi.
Pero nagtitipid nga eh. Di kami interested! Okay let’s remove those features. No guide from my team, No food, No water, No skyway fee, No tents, No arm floaters, No shower but just plain trek. Alright! I can give you a tour package of 10k for 5 persons. That is 2000 per head. Wow! so what are the inclusions na lang?
BUDGET PRICE FOR A TEAM ON TIGHT BUDGET
2000 per head
Pick up from meet-up point to Mt. Pinatubo (Meet-up is along Mc Arthur Highway, Capas tarlac@6am)
4 x 4 jeep (inclusive of rental, gas & driver’s fee & meal)
Trip arrangement/clearance & permits
coke & ham & egg sandwich
Use of Locker & Shower facility after the trek